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    Counter Exposure: US Shifts Blame for Oil Smuggling From Turkey to Assad

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    In the aftermath of Russia's exposure of the illegal oil trade between Daesh (ISIL/ISIS) and Turkey, the US has decided to come up with its own 'revelation': the US Treasury admits that the jihadist group is profiting from oil exports to the tune of as much as $40 mln per month, but claims the terrorist group is selling it to President Assad.

    “US Treasury Department official Adam Szubin said militants were selling as much as $40 million a month of oil at the installations which was then spirited on trucks across the battlelines of the Syrian civil war and sometimes further,” according to Reuters.

    The Department, however, found nothing better than to claim that “significant volumes have been sold to the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad,” while neglecting to provide any proof to back up its claim, unlike the Russian Defense Ministry, which earlier presented satellite imagery and shots of oil trucks lining up at the border with Turkey, detailing each of oil smuggling routes on the map.

    "ISIL (Daesh) is selling a great deal of oil to the Assad regime," Szubin, the acting undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence with the Treasury, claimed to an audience at Chatham House in London.

    "Some is coming across the border into Turkey," Szubin grudgingly admitted when asked for details on the money trail.

    He managed to keep the details as vague as possible:

    "Our sense is that ISIL is taking its profits basically at the wellhead and so while you do have ISIL(Daesh) oil ending up in a variety of different places that's not really the pressure we want when it comes to stemming the flow of funding — it really comes down to taking down their infrastructure," he said.

    Szubin said it was unclear whether the $40 million per month estimate could be multiplied over a year. However, in remarks prepared for delivery, he said that Daesh had made more than $500 million from the oil trade. He didn't give a more specific time period.

    However, as it turns out, the US has been aware of the illegal oil trade between Daesh and Turkey for quite some time.

    “We’ve known for along time that the Turks are the ones exporting the oil for ISIS (Daesh) and making the money so we did not attack the convoys… I think it’s a bad decision, but I think what the White House decided it was that better to have Turkey friendly than to have Turkey unfriendly,” Philip Giraldi, a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer said on Thursday in an interview with the global news network RT on the sidelines of an international media conference being organized by the broadcaster.

    He added that the US officials used to be very careful about not blaming Ankara, because Washington was very concerned about having the Turks involved in the US activities in the region, allowing the United States to use airbases in Turkey.

    President Assad has also commented on the issue:

    "The Russians last week published on TV pictures and videos of trucks carrying oil crossing the Syrian-Turkish borders. Of course, the Turks denied this, it’s very easy to deny, but let’s think about the reality," the Syrian leader said in an interview with the Spanish news agency EFE.

    The Russians last week published on TV pictures and videos of trucks carrying oil crossing the Syrian-Turkish borders. Of course, the Turks denied this, it’s very easy to deny, but let’s think about the reality.

    Besides, numerous news outlets, including The Guardian and Zero Hedge, made their own investigations of oil smuggling into Turkey.
    The British newspaper has posted a number of articles on the Daesh oil business.

    “After a US attack on the compound of a Daesh (ISIL) leader in Syria in May, direct dealings between the terrorist organization and Turkey became undeniable,” the Guardian wrote back in July, referring to documents seized at the compound.

    “Following the killing of Abu Sayyaf, an ISIL official responsible for oil smuggling in May, a senior Western official familiar with the intelligence gathered at Sayyaf's compound said that direct dealings between Turkish officials and ranking ISIL members were now “undeniable.”

    “From mid-2013, the Tunisian fighter [Abu Sayyaf] had been responsible for smuggling oil from Syria's eastern fields, which the group had by then commandeered. Black market oil quickly became the main driver of ISIS (Daesh) revenues — and Turkish buyers were its main clients,” the daily reported.

    In a follow-up to President Putin’s remarks on the issue, the newspaper has published another article referring to a “long list of evidence of Turkish support for Daesh (ISIL) in Syria, compiled by The Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University."

    Based on evidence made available by a variety of international sources including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, BBC, Sky News, as well as Turkish sources CNN Turk, Hurriyet Daily News, Taraf, Cumhuriyet, and Radikal, among others, the document confirmed that:

    “Turkey provides military equipment to ISIS (Daesh), Turkey provided transport and logistical assistance to ISIS Fighters, Turkey provided training to ISIS fighters, Turkey offers medical care to ISIS fighters, Turkey supports ISIS financially through the purchase of oil, and Turkish forces Are fighting alongside ISIS.”

    Related:

    Lavrov: Turkey Has Long Supported Daesh Oil Trade, Terrorists' Efforts
    Russia Surprised by US 'Blindness' to Trucks Delivering Daesh Oil to Turkey
    Defending Turkey's Role in Daesh Oil Trade 'Destroys US Credibility'
    This is How Turkey's Oil Trade With Daesh Works
    Tags:
    illegal oil trade, purchases, oil smuggling, Daesh, US Treasury Department, Adam Szubin, Turkey, Syria, United States
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